Saturday, September 3, 2016


Two scenarios

1) An 18 year priest in the Church baptized his younger sister on Saturday. The day before, he broke the law of chastity with his girlfriend. Years pass and the sister gets married in the temple and afterwards learn about what happened the night before her baptism. Is her baptism valid? Her endowment? Her sealing? Does she have to do it all again?

2) Two young lovers were sealed in the local temple on Saturday. The day before, the sealer commits an act of domestic violence against his wife. Years pass, children are born to the couple and tragic strikes–the husband is killed in a traffic accident. At the same time, the sealer is tried in court and convicted for his crimes against his family. Was there even a sealing performed? Was there an actual covenant under which the children were born? Is the family eternal?

These scenarios aren't extreme nor unthinkable. Tough questions arise when we ponder them. We'd like the answers to be simple, and maybe they are. But we can't dodge the issue of whether righteousness is a prerequisite for priesthood power, the use of priesthood "keys" and the efficacy of ordinances.

(I've written about ordinances here. You might want to check that out before we move on.)

To be [righteous], or not to be [righteous], that is the question!

In my mind, it's hard to argue that righteousness isn't required for priesthood. If we say that you don't have to be perfect to have and with power use the priesthood, how bad can you be before you're too bad? If we say that righteousness isn't required, why is the Church putting so much focus on the avoidance of porn and other moral issues?

If we say that a priesthood holder has to be righteous to use it, then, as in the scenarios above, what happens to the ordinances performed by unrighteous priesthood holders? The effect can be quite scary since the Church trace priesthood authority through lines going back to the three witnesses and Joseph Smith. What if something was amiss in the early 1900's when someone was ordained to priesthood? The effects grow exponentially. We might, by this reasoning, have a big chunk of members who might not have been properly baptized. From an eternal perspective, this is most likely a pretty big deal.

This would create a disorder that feels antithetical to the order we believe that God's house is in and we therefore must revert to the opinion that righteousness isn't required. But, hey, that doesn't feel right! Welcome to a disturbing paradox and conundrum.

Sorting things out

There are different priesthoods - a lower and a higher. I don't know remotely close to everything about this. As a matter of fact, I know very little. What I share here is what I've picked up from reading the scriptures and pondering the questions.

Anyhow, a higher and a lower priesthood.

The lower priesthood - preparatory

Simply put, the lower performs rituals that point to and invite the participants to a real interaction with God. For example, the endowment means nothing if we don't follow it where it points us - to the veil where we can truly converse with the Lord. It's like acting a part in a play and rehearsing a lot but never go to the actual premiere. We learn the part but never act it out on stage in front of an audience and therefore don't get the full experience. In the book of life, only those who actually perform on stage will be mentioned...

We read that the "lesser priesthood […] holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb." (D&C 84:26-27) 

We also read that, "The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments." (D&C 107:20)

The preparatory and symbolical ordinances belongs to the lower priesthood, whereas the higher priesthood circumscribe the spiritual blessings of God.

The higher priesthood - a relationship with the powers of heaven

The higher priesthood reaches a lot higher than the lesser priesthood. It seems that there's no only a difference in quality, but in quantity as well–it's a much larger priesthood that reaches into the heavens. We read, 

  • The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church–To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant. (D&C 107:18-19)
It should be clear to us that the privileges of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, goes vastly beyond anything that we've heard anyone in church testify of (please let me know if your experience differ from mine).

When incarcerated in Liberty Jail, Joseph penned these immortal words.

the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121:36)
If any man tries to use "his" priesthood "in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." (D&C 121:37)

The qualities needed to use priesthood power and authority with the blessings of heaven include, but are not limited to, persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness and meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, pure knowledge, without hypocrisy, and without guile. (D&C 121:41-42)

To receive and use the higher priesthood after the order of Jesus, a person has to have a heart like his. Like Nephi, who sought not his own life, but the will of Jesus to such a degree that Jesus knew that he would "not ask that which is contrary to my will." (Hel. 10:4-5) Or like those who were "approved of God [and] ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch" and who had faith, and the will to "do all things according to his will, according to his command" and also "by the will of the Son of God [this points to the fact that they had a clear line of communication and did what they did on his invitation or command]." (JST Gen. 14:27-32)

The higher priesthood consists of a relationship (a brother-, or priesthood) with the divine and is not based on transferring of authority from man to man. The Lord gives it "by mine own voice out of the heavens." (D&C 84:42) This authority to do God's work on earth is fragile, for only a person with a godly mind, actions and heart can wield it's power.

My guess is that the ordinances of the higher priesthood aren't very like the ones performed in the temples. Any person who meets the qualifications set by the church can enter the temple, receive their endowment and be sealed. This means nothing, as long as the Holy Spirit of Promise doesn't seal them up. Those who do have the sealing power act through revelation. God would tell/show them that there is, for example, a couple who are ready to be sealed for real, and they do it. What's done in the temples of the church is, at best, an invitation to seek an actual sealing.


Those who truly represent God are like him, for unto no one else is the authority or the charge given to do his work. There is room for imperfections, but not for unrighteousness. This might cause us to believe there is no order. But, there is, it's called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God

Sunday, August 14, 2016

FREE WILL - the talk I never gave

This is a talk I prepared for, but never got around to present at the Nordic Remnant Conference held yesterday (13th of August) in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden.


The concept of free will can be summed up with these words from the Book of Mormon:
30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.
31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you. (Hel. 14:30-31)
What are some of the implications of free will?

We are free to start world wars and kill others and free to lay down our life for others and all that’s between these two extremes.

We are free to turn the other cheek when warred against and worship God as we perish under the sword.

In essence and in short, there is no limit on what God will let us do with the gift of free will.

Free will  - to God it's sacrosanct. For man, it's tolerable a best. At least in others. What makes it hard for us to grant others the same benefit we take for granted for ourselves? 
1. We take it for granted and don't see that it truly is a gift. If we would do that, we would recognize that it's given to everyone and that we can’t, nor should want to interfere with how anyone is using it (of course as long as they aren’t hurting anyone). 2. We want everyone else to do and believe as we do. Let's admit it, it's hard to stand alone. There’s power in numbers. Neither truth, correctness nor righteousness are dependent on numbers. Sometimes it seems that we’d rather have company in hell than be alone in heaven. When we seek for the company and affirmation or confirmation of mortal men and women, we put our trust in the arm of flesh. Heaven isn’t a place of solitude and we should seek for company. We must be careful to choose the right company and also seek for pats on the back from the right place - that of God and his son.
 3. We miss the fact that we're all on a journey, at different speed, with different vehicles, at different pace and from different starting points. At best, we're heading towards the same goal. It's hard to see how one's own journey will develop. How much harder is it then to pass judgment on someone else's.
In C.S. Lewis´ second book of the Narnia series, “The Horse and the Boy”, we read about Shasta, the young man who left his custodian to travel north to Narnia. On the way, he had close encounters with several different lions, as he supposed. Later on, he met with someone who seemed to know quite a lot about all of this lion-business.

"There was only one lion," said the Voice.
"What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and-"
"There was only one: but he was swift of foot." "How do you know?"
"I was the lion." And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."
"Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"
"It was I"
"But what for?"
"Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."

This Voice was Aslan, the symbol of Jesus Christ that have made the Narnia series a profound religious experience for me. He tells us about ourselves and not about others. In January, I met Jesus in a dream in a dream. In the dream, I asked him about our collective insecurities. He answered me about mine. But then, as a sidenote, he mentioned that he’s on Facebook (and let me draw the conclusion that he was fully aware of all of our insecurities).

What can we learn from Jesus’ way of relating to other people’s use of their free agency?

Jesus found himself on earth some two thousand years ago. He was a man with a mission to teach and show the way to the Father among the vilest of self-righteous religious pricks. Think about it. Jesus had given the Jews their scriptures, their ordinances, their feast days, he had liberated their ancestors from slavery and bondage. He had loved them and already given them the chance to come into his presence, but they would not. As it turned out, the Jews had taken all they had been given, corrupted, twisted and perverted it, supplanted it with traditions of men, mistaken symbols for the actual saving ordinances and made the temple into a house of merchandise. They had a lot but were living spiritually empty handed and empty hearted. Oh, contemplate the frustration, the disappointment, the anger, the feeling of betrayal and the desire for revenge and to withhold future blessings … that we would have had to struggle with being in Jesus´ place.

But what did Jesus do? He taught them the truth, not only about himself and the Father, but also about themselves. He was willing to forgive of the pride and self-righteousness, and eventually, he lamented from the bottom of his heart that he would’ve gathered them as a hen gathers her chickens, time and time again. His long suffering is astounding. To me, the biggest miracle from Jesus´ life isn’t the walking on water and the bread and the fish, but the fact that he didn’t give in to the temptation to strike this people with lightning and end the charade and divine disrespect and mockery. But then again, that’s me.

What can we learn from Jesus in handling people who might be termed Latter-day Pharisees? Many things, of course. I want to shortly mention three. 
1. Consider yourself a fool before the Lord.
 It will help you extend the same privilege to others. You don't expect yourself to be in possession of all truth, so let others join you in being in the wrong, but don't demand them to be wrong in the same way as you are. Diversity is a blessing, in truth as well as in error.  
2. What you need is more love - from others as well as from yourself. The golden rule compels you to give exactly this to those around you. But don’t expect them to reciprocate. In fact, expect nothing from man, nothing at all. Love them instead. All expectations placed on mortal man will disappoint in the long run. Every expectation has to be “made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise” (D&C 132:7) in order for it to be worthy our hope and faith. 
3. Follow your heart, for there is no other heart that beats for you the same way as your own does. Until God tells you in detail what to do, you should pursue what the best part of yourself guides you to. No one except God can say what your divine potential and divine nature will have you do and be.
In conclusion:

I find that what I’ve said is a part of the concept presented by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount about loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors and forgiving all men (and religious institutions) everything. This is a component of the charge from the D&C (93:30), to be ”independent in that sphere in which God has placed” us. When we don’t let the actions of others hedge up or limit our christlikeness, we are truly independent for we give no man any power over what we will do. If we are willing to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them which despitefully use and persecute us, turn the other cheek, walk the second mile, give to those who ask, respond to a lawsuit with a desire to settle generously, we might be played every now and then. But, and this is important, no one will have any power over us to drag us down to the pit of despair or into the false sense of justice the legal system provides.

Our hearts need to be unencumbered by the things of this world, and that includes the false sense of justice and vindication. Jesus will at the last day vindicate the ones with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and that promise should give us strength to seek for the best our heart wants us to have. Therefore, we need to teach our heart what it wants, but also give God place to touch it and plant therein a deeper hunger after himself and his Son.

It all boils down to taking up the yoke of Christ. His yoke is all about love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, salvation and the heart. It's all about taking up our cross and carrying it to our Golgatha were the Father, as Jesus taught to the Nephites, will lift us up like the Son was lifted up (3 Ne. 27:14). We will need to crucify all that binds us to this world, or else we can't be taken to heaven. It's been said that if you want to go to heaven you need to bring a piece of it with you. I believe there's some truth to that. I also believe that we need to let go of all worldly possessions and aspirations and empty our pockets from even the smallest piece of dust belonging to this world. This kind of thorough cleaning is what Jesus will do with us if we let him.

This is my belief, my small but growing faith and my fragile desire. I want Jesus in my life.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


During a recent FAIR conference in Sweden, one of the speakers addressed the issue of blacks and and the priesthood. He stated, rather emphatically, that the prophets had been wrong all these years and that the leaders of the Church (apparently) can lead us astray.

For some of the participants in the conference, this opens up a can of worms. If the leaders of the Church was so wrong before, can they be so now? If yes, what are they wrong about. What should I do if I learn what they are wrong about? Can I be open about the truth, or do I have to support my leaders when they are leading us astray?

These are all difficult and important questions.

When we talk about leading others astray, we need to first determine how things should be. If you're walking through the forrest, having lost your way, you might've gone astray. But you won't sense that you've gone astray if you have no sense of where you should've been. If you lacked knowledge about where you ought to be, and just believed that you're okay as long as you are among trees, then it would be hard to convince you of being astray out there in the forest. The question are we led astray? must therefore be asked and answered against the backdrop of how things ought to be.

It should therefore be duly noted, that if you should meet someone you might suppose that they are lost to. The chance is, though, that they live there, out in the forest. What is astray for one person might not be astray for someone else.

To put it in context, if we believe that the Church and we as its members are exactly where we should be, then the question of being led astray is not only irrelevant, but also insulting. On what grounds could we believe that we are in the right path? Well, the most obvious answer would be that the leaders can't lead us astray (we've already covered that ground and found that they indeed can lead us astray and have done so historically). From this on, the arguments get worse and worse.

How can we determine where we should be as a church and people, and thereby getting a sense of if we're led astray? The scriptures are a good standard to meet against. Few verses that point to the purpose of the restoration (and also to how we could reclaim it) are found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 1. We read that,
 17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called uponmy servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
 18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—
 19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
 20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
 21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
 22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
 23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
If we are right where we should be, that which is written by prophets of old should be fulfilled, i.e. not trust in the arm of flesh (if we believe that the leaders can't lead us astray, is that trusting in the arm of flesh?), every man speak in the name of Jesus (is this something other than putting Jesus' name after everything we do, no matter if Jesus would approve or not?), great faith (do we see the fruits of faith among us?), establishment of the everlasting covenant (do we even know what this is?) and the preaching of the fulness of the gospel (can we be doing this when the concepts of calling and election and the Second Comforter is downplayed in the Church and nonexistent from the missionary manual?).

The best way to approach these questions should be to ask God to lead us to him and help us see things as they really are. I believe that he will do this in the way that suits us the best. This doesn't mean, though, that he will make it comfortable.

I want to recommend this post.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chapter 2: Part A - Two Keys to My Awakening and Faith

Two Keys To My Awakening

It’s been said that there are no silly questions. That might be true. On the other hand, there exist many difficult questions that require us to think new and maybe unpleasant thoughts. That’s how I started to wake up from my deep sleep. Just like it’s important to turn unto the Lord when we wake up in the morning it’s important to seek the Lord early in a spiritual awakening and relying on Him. The words from Psalms give comfort in these situations.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”[1]
Recently I saw the following question and answer on Facebook: “This blog seems to say that we’ve been wrong all along? Is this reasonable?” The answer was great: “That’s possible. We’ve thought that we go to the chapel each Sunday but we’re not, we go to the meeting house.”

This book is about this–to wake up to the fact that we might’ve been wrong, if not all of the time, during a sufficiently long period of time that we’ve lost the ability to recognize it. Some wrongs are small, like what we call the building in which we meet, while other mistakes have a direct effect on our salvation, like the fact that we confuse the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost with the confirmation, that an invitation to the party is the party itself.

What I present here is an invitation to wake up–awake from a deep sleep[2], awake and start hearing the words of the Lord’s true servants[3], awake and no longer be burdened by sin[4], awake to being up and doing[5], awake to a sense of our awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among us[6], awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom [7], awake to righteousness[8], in short, awake to God[9]. Awaking in this way is like when you wake up in a place you haven’t before been to. It takes some time for you to accept the fact that you’ve been in transition and to reorient and map out a new direction.

Many shy away from this awakening because it’s too painful. This feeling of pain is very real and is born out of the realization that the map you’ve been handed has been shown to give a false view of reality.

The pain isn’t too great (even if it initially might feel that way). It’s possible to get through it and come out victorious on the other side. For those who experience this pain, I hope that this book might help. And for those who haven’t awakened it can function as an alarm clock. No matter where you are on your journey, it’ll be necessary for you to exercise faith in perhaps new ways with unexpected results.

Faith and whatsoever thing is expedient in the Lord

Shortly before his death, Joseph gave a “The King Follet Sermon”[10]. In it, he says,
 “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did”[11]
Despite that the fourth Article of Faith states that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel, I don’t believe we’re dealing with a contradiction. These concepts go together. One thing my awakening has taught me is the fact that without faith, we can’t do anything.

One of the biggest problems caused by being one mile wide and one inch deep in ones spirituality and beliefs, is that there is a lack of faith. There’s a huge difference between belief and faith and it’s important to keep these concepts separated. While belief is about holding something, a worldview consisting of distinct facts, for true, faith is a reliance on God that results in power and miracles. Maybe too many beliefs and a lack of faith is the ingredients in making you one mile wide and one inch deep. It’s like being “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.[12] I felt that this is where I’d landed in my spirituality.

Faith is a principle of action. We have faith that we will reap if we sow and that we will end up at work if we take the commuter train into town. Faith causes us to act. To take a step over the railing and walk on water like Peter, requires faith, albeit not in the natural consequence of a certain action, but rather in God. Faith in God is, aside from a principle of action, also a principle of power.

Jesus has shown and taught that if we have faith in him, we “shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in [him].[13], even miracles like raising the dead to life, put at defiance the armies of nations, and so forth.[14] Conversely, we won’t be able to do any of this if he doesn’t find it expedient. The determining factor, aside from our faith, is whether Jesus wants it to happen or not.

Through miraculous means, Jehova helped Israel flee out of Egypt. Eventually, Moses and his people found themselves on the shore of the Red Sea. The Egyptians were closing up on them. God spoke to Moses and said, “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.[15] Moses obeyed, and the Isrealites crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Was it the faith of Moses or the power of God that caused this miracle? I’d say, both. If Moses hadn’t spoken to the water it wouldn’t have parted. On the other hand, if God hadn’t told Moses what he (Moses) should do and what he (God) would do, Moses would’ve kept quiet.

The key to the salvation of the Israelites on the shore of the Red Sea, and other miraculous and divine interventions we hear testimonies of, is that God found it expedient in him to exercise his power in this way and revealed this to someone in possession of faith and a desire to “to do all things according to his will, according to his command[16]. Faith in God requires that we have a sure knowledge that God wants what we are called to do. When we desire something but lack this surety, we no longer act in faith, but rather with hope.

When Moses’ trust in the word of God met with the will and promise of God, a miracle occurred. Moses spoke and the powerful arm of God was revealed in accordance with his words. Peter stood in the boat and didn’t leave it until Jesus invited him to come. With faith in the words and invitation of Jesus, Peter was able to walk on water. Without this, he would’ve doubted the expediency of him walking on water. If God doesn’t invite us to action, we can’t exercise faith in him. If we act on our own ideas, there’s no power in our faith, for there’s no miracles wrought through faith focused on something other than God.[17]

In this we find the power of faith – by faith solely on the word of God, we act with an assurance that God will assist us and that he will finish our faith[18]. Our faith will be imperfect and without fruits[19] without the assurance that we are doing the will of God. The Lectures states it this way.
"Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, The idea that he actually exists. Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes. Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.—For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.[20]
If we know that we are doing the will of God, we will always be able to act with full confidence in him and his power. “This is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions—Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn”[21] and those who were ordained to ”the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God[22].
A person arrives at this stage of faith step by step, row by row and commandment by commandment. The example of Moses can illustrate this principle. In Exodus chapter 3 and 4 we read about how the Lord taught Moses in the principle of revelation. Through the tutoring of the Lord, Moses got to the point where he could stretch forth his hand over the Red Sea and together with God part it for the salvation of the Israelites. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we read,
”Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.”[23]

Joseph said that,
The Spirit of Revelation is in connection with [the blessing of receiving your First and Second Comforter]. A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.[24]
Since we can’t see the complete picture and lack knowledge of what kind of results God will cause through our actions, the promptings God gives us are invitations to faith. If we focus on and give the Spirit of Revelation the needed conditions for growth in our lives and follow the promptings we receive, we live by faith and trust in God. We will grow in faith, not only in belief, for we will time and time again note how God’s always true to his word and that he won’t leave us alone. Hereby, we will attain unto the knowledge that Enos had.
"And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.[25]

Signs will follow those who believe

Real faith in God bears fruit. This is not the same thing as in the fact that many members of the Church believe in many things (for example that God exists, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph was a prophet, that the Church is true, that the temple is the house of God, that the scriptures are the word of God). These are oftentimes the things we bear testimony of. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf expressed it this way:

”A testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will always include these clear and simple truths:
         God lives. He is our loving Father in Heaven, and we are His children.
         Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and the Savior of the world.
         Joseph Smith is the prophet of God through whom the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in the latter days.
         The Book of Mormon is the word of God.
        President Gordon B. Hinckley, his counselors, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are the prophets, seers, and revelators in our day.”[26]

It’s not wrong to espouse these convictions. On the other hand, it’s wrong to mistake them for faith. The kind of testimony president Uchtdorf was talking about is nothing more than a declaration of belief (that is, the belief that a set of assertions are correct and true), and this is what we often hear during our testimony meetings. It’s almost like the Book of Mormon story about the Zoramites was included in the book just to warn us about this. They, like we, met every Sunday to share their “testimonies” from the Rameumpton, the holy stand.
”Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever. Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God. And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.”[27]
When this was done, they all went their own way and never spoke about God until they met again the following week to repeat the procedure. The Zoramites were believers, all right, but to say that they had faith would be an insult.

How do we know if we have faith? Just like true prophets are known by their fruits, so is faith!
For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith. Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after. And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith. And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God. And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of his word which he had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith. And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil. And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.[28]
There’s a similar enumeration in the New Testament. The composer of the epistle to the Hebrews,[29] after having commented on the miracles and mighty works performed through faith by Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, his parents and the harlot Rahab, we read:
 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.[30]
 The same concept is presented in the Inspired Version of Genesis chapter 14.
”For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.[31]
Mormon taught that,
It is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men.”[32]
Moroni, the son of Mormons, wrote that,
And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover; And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth..”[33]
If miracles, ministering of angels and other wonders are the fruit of faith, it’s no surprise to read the following words from the Book of Mormon.
If these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.And the reason why [God] ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.”[34]
 In “Lectures on Faith” we read that,
Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, The idea that he actually exists. Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes. Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.—For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ..”[35]
 When these words from the Book of Mormon and Lectures on Faith are juxtaposed, it becomes clear upon what real and fruitful faith is based.

”Lectures on Faith”, 3:2-5
Mormon 9:20
The idea that he actually exists
Dwindle in unbelief.
A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes
Know not the God in whom they should trust.
An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.
Depart from the right way.
= faith unto miracles and salvation
= no miracles and no salvation

It was through this kind of faith Abinadi was able to defy the murderous king Noah and his priests, because he knew that he was exactly where God wanted him to be. Without that surety, everything else considered, it’s impossible to have faith.

When I look around, and at myself, and search for the fruits of faith, I see a lack of miracles. This is my experience, and if yours is full of miracles, then be happy for that. I believe that he who dares to honestly assess our collective level of faith will reach the same conclusion. What’s the problem? Well, Moroni said it – we dwindle in unbelief, have departed from the right way, and know not the God in whom we should trust.

 Jesus said that,

Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repentFor it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel.”[36]

The final words of the “Lectures on Faith” sums it up well.
This is the reason that the Former Day Saints knew more, and understood more of heaven, and of heavenly things than all others beside, because this information is the effect of faith-to be obtained by no other means. And this is the reason, that men, as soon as they lose their faith, run into strifes, contentions, darkness and difficulties; for the knowledge which tends to life disappears with faith, but returns when faith returns; for when faith comes, it brings its train of attendants with it—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth. For these are the effects of faith and always have, and always will attend it. For where faith is, there will the knowledge of God be also, with all things which pertain thereto—revelations, visions, and dreams, as well as every other necessary thing in order that the possessors of faith may be perfected and obtain salvation; for God must change, otherwise faith will prevail with him. And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent: whom to know is eternal life: Amen.”[37] 
We need less of what put us in this predicament, instead we need more repentance. [38]

After having read this book, I believe that you will have a clear view of what we need less of (and also what we need more of). If you’ve read the book and still can’t get a clear view of it all, I refer you to the blogs and the books I’ve recommended.

[1] Ps. 23:1-4
[2] 2 Ne. 1:13
[3] Mosiah 3:3
[4] 2 Ne. 4:28
[5] Alma 60:24
[6] Eth 8:24
[7] L&F 133:10
[8] 1 Kor. 15:34
[9] Alma 5:7
[10] This sermon wasn’t given during a royal funeral, but the first given name of the deceased man was King.
[11] TPJS, s. 345-346
[12] 2 Tim. 3:7
[13] Moroni 7:33 - And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
[14] More examples of the consequences of real faith will be given later.
[15] Exodus 14:16
[16] JST Gen. 14:31
[17] The serious student of the scriptures will note that the priests of Pharao performed ”miracles” in the duel with Moses. I propose that there is a difference between miracles. The devil has power to cause supernatural phenomena, but miracles are reserved for God. We also have the example of Moses striking water from the rock instead of commanding it with his voice. The result was the same, but Moses lost through his disobedience the right to lead the children of Israel into the Promised land.
[18] Moroni 6:4
[19] The fruits of faith will be the theme for the next part.
[20] Lectures on Faith, 3:2-5
[21] TPJS, s. 151
[22] D&C 107:3; this order of priesthood shouldn’t be mistaken for the ordinations to the Melchizedek priesthood we perform in the Church today; read more about this in the part ”The Fulness of the priesthood”
[23] L&F 8:2-3
[24] TPJS, s. 151
[25] Enos 1:5-8
[26] Dieter F. Uchtdorf, ”The Power of a Personal Testimony”, General conference, October 2006
[27] Alma 31:15-18
[28] Eth. 12:12-22
[29]Paul is oftentimes believed to have written this epistle. Bible scholars, however, haven’t agreed on this.
[30] Hebr. 11:4-38
[31] JST Gen. 14:30-32
[32] Moroni 7:37
[33] Mormon 9:24-25
[34] Moroni 7:37 och Mormon 9:20
[35] Lectures on Faith, 3:2-5
[36] 3 Ne. 21:14, 20
[37] Lectures on Faith, 7:20
[38] Rita Mae Brown: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”